Happy Sunday All! It is such a lovely day today, I hope you are all basking in the sunshine and Spring time views! Today’s prompt is one I considered not writing about, as my answer may seem vague, and I considered how much my words may be misinterpreted or misunderstood…then I remembered that is a regular occurrence when we read others’ writings, and so I said “why not?”!

What experiences in life helped you grow the most?

Most people will tell you that you never grow unless the experience is bad, has repercussions, or you learned a lesson. While the latter is most true, the former is not the exception, nor always true. Yes, our experiences may seem to be more impactful with a negative connotation, because human nature focuses more on the negatives, but can you remember a positive experience that held just as much, if not way more weight, in helping you grow? I can, and I will share that with you, eventually. Let’s start with the negatives, looking at them in an overview sort of way.

When we are children, we often learn from things that scare us, especially when reinforced by parents or authority figures. This holds true throughout our lives, again this can be reinforced by those around or influential to us, but the way we hold on to how fear impacts us can seriously alter our experiences and our lives. Let me give you some examples.

Growing up for me, my parents would have differing reactions to my actions. Sometimes I would be met with harsh criticism, other times they would ask me if I thought my solution/answer was a good idea, and some times they would tell me that eventually I would learn. While I eventually saw merit or purpose in all three methods, it dawned on me that harsh criticism was typically done when they were stressed, when they were worried about or for me, or when I seriously was not getting the lesson. This is when they would typically sigh and say I would learn eventually. I always knew that at that point, I really had to pay attention, this was on me to learn from. Thanks mom and dad, this was my favorite part of your parenting of me, and I also use it for my kids-telling them they will eventually figure it out.

I learned so much from those experiences, and I honestly think the most sunk in with those instances…because I was truly aware and paying attention then. Do you know why? It was because my parents were not having a negative feeling about it, they felt a bit helpless, and I could feel that it was up to me to help myself and to change things if I wanted a different experience, with them, and with whatever the situation was. Ironically, that is what I have been doing with my life, seemingly forever, but definitely recently. I want a different experience, and so I am making decisions to have that. I have had several people think there is something wrong with me, commenting as such and asking me if I am okay, but that is so far from the truth. So much in my life is right because I am making different choices, and this is providing room for me to grow and enjoy my life more. I am choosing differently than most people would, and while that looks like self isolation, it is me eliminating negatives or distractions so that I am more choosy with the good things in my life. Talk about misinterpreted or misunderstanding, but that also comes from the others’ levels of perception. They might get it eventually.

I have had all kinds of experiences that have helped me to grow, some amazing experiences where another person’s kindness has made my heart bloom like a field of wildflowers. I swear in these experiences, you feel your heart expand threefold, almost to the point of bursting with joy and love. This is when we find ourselves growing in love, compassion, joy, empathy, kindness, happiness, etc.. We often forget these over the painful or the less than stellar times, maybe we should hold on to these experiences more and let them guide our hearts and minds more frequently.

So which experiences helped me grow the most? All of them. The good, the bad, the indifferent, the negative, the positive, the stumping, the hateful ones, the joyful ones, the ones that held no clarity. I have learned from them all, grown from them all, I am having the human experience after all! I will tell you the ones that I did not grow from, that would be the ones I kept repeating…until I eventually paid attention, let go of something and learned.

Tell me, what experiences do you grow the most from? I am still not on FB, so feel free to drop me a message, or chat amongst yourselves. In the meantime, embrace being misinterpreted, misunderstood and have a laugh about it. You know you and that is all that matters, not what others think they know. Chao!

Word Ban…

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

WordPress/Jetpack, is now coming up with these little prompts to get users to open conversations and write about things to provoke response amongst readers. I have been avoiding jumping on this prompt pushing, as I am more of a free flowing, talk about what speaks to me, topic writer. I read another writer’s post on this, thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and so I figured I would tell you the word I think should be banned. Oh, the other writer suggested we ban the word “racist”, I concur as it is being very misused these days.

I used to really dislike the word paradigm, as it was such a buzz, trendy word that everyone used to make themselves seem way more intelligent when needing to say problem, issue, situation, etc.. The people using this word had no other big words in their vocabulary, but yet I was supposed to believe that paradigm was now a representation of their bland palette parading as more upscale or sophisticated. The funny thing is, it should have been a gateway word leading to just that, a more sophisticated, expanded word base. These are the same people though that overused the word “absolutely”, and very closely to the same time frame as their “paradigm” usage. What an intelligent, proactively worded time that was, not. Now, this is not me being judgmental, but more so saying to not expose yourself as a fraud, untrustworthy, or reaching. If you don’t use bigger words typically, don’t start using trendy bigger words to put on a facade, people will see through this and it will cut your credibility.

I would however make a suggestion, if you want to enhance your vocabulary. Start with synonyms and antonyms of words you feel you commonly overuse, try on some of those first. See which feels best to you, and which you might bust unexpectedly in conversation. Look up a new word, or be prompted by an app to start using one new word a week. Don’t do one a day, that is overkill, and can become overwhelming, thus deterring you from expansion. The goal is to beef up your vocabulary, not sound like a pretentious twit.

While I told you what word I used to want to ban, and I mentioned reading the post about banning “racist”, I don’t think we should currently ban any words at all. I think in both cases, people allow/allowed themselves to be influenced by what narrative is being pushed at the time. I had a client once tell me that the English language was being dumbed down to a point of simpleton, and at the time, I laughed, now I agree. I challenge you to expand your vocabulary for your own purposes, while remaining true to the way you speak and interact with others. I challenge you to stay clear of words that are trendy and buzz worthy, in society or your work capacity. I also challenge you to do a spelling test of words we all struggle with, think receive, weird, connoisseur, etc..

Tell me, is there a word you would ban? Why? I would love to know, but keep in mind, I am still on a social media hiatus, and won’t see your comment.